This week Indiana University's Internet of Things House hosted IU's Cyber Security Club (CSC) for a fun night of lock picking instruction and practice. Undergraduate and graduate students gathered to learn a classic skill used not only by penetration testers, but also used as an entertaining engineering challenge. Led by SPICE project manager and CSC staff leader, Joshua Streiff, the students had the opportunity to work on practice locks before moving on to real world items including padlocks, combination locks, handcuffs, briefcases, and even a decommissioned voting machine.
As Streiff states, this experience has multiple values:
Lock Picking Nights are a great distraction from the stresses of classwork while also being a superb introduction to mental models of vulnerabilities and defense. Students get to think about how a system or device is weak, how it could have been made better, and how that one piece of a larger security system could put the whole at risk. Plus, doing something very mechanical, very hands on, is a great deal of fun - not unlike fidget toys and puzzle toys.
IU's Cyber Security Club has weekly activities throughout every semester. To read more about the activities of the Cyber Security Club, be sure to follow their linked in page here as well as follow their discord.